My research into writing the series of books on the Vietnam Conflict has uncovered many facts that are not taught in school. I grew up while Conflict was building, and I have been interested in Vietnam from the beginning, because it was weaving itself into the very fabric of our society. Then several years ago, I was driving behind a car with a sticker on it that read, “When I Left Vietnam, We Were Winning! This sticker opened my eyes to how our proud servicemen felt who served in that far-away land, despite being sent on a mission without an objective. Those who served honorably and proudly never received their due gratitude from our country.
The year 1963 was the tipping point in the Vietnam Conflict; specifically, the murders of President Diem and President Kennedy. The removal of these two leaders resulted in an acceleration of the conflict. It is not a highly publicized fact, but President Kennedy was against putting large numbers of ground troops in Vietnam. He had wrestled with this decision for the first two years of his administration, while slightly increasing the number of “advisors” in South Vietnam and working with the South Vietnamese Army. The President had several conversations with retired Five Star General Douglas MacArthur, who knew the Pacific and Southeast Asia about as well as anyone alive. MacArthur advised President Kennedy that it was not a war conducive to ground troops. Late in 1963, President Kennedy started decreasing the number of troops in Vietnam. His actions should not be misinterpreted; he believed he could come up with a plan that would meet his objective of winning the Vietnam Conflict. His actions were not well received by the war hawks in his cabinet, at the Pentagon, or in the Military Industrial Complex. Based on the advice of MacArthur and other key advisors, Kennedy believed the conflict could be won by working with the South Vietnamese Army, utilizing Elite Forces’ surgical strikes, in conjunction with air and naval support.
The civilian government of South Vietnam at that time was run by President Ngo Dinh Diem. He was an enigma. He was a Catholic in a predominately Buddhist Country. From the beginning, there was almost constant conflict between the president, his family, and the Buddhists. Quickly, these conflicts accelerated to become a huge distraction that took their country’s focus from their real enemies, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese. To present both sides of the argument, the South Vietnamese Army was not a very good fighting-army, and they were inferior to the Communist North Vietnamese Army, which was trained and funded by the Soviet Union and the Communist Red Chinese.
My first book in the series, PAWNS – MAGIC BULLET, details the murders of Diem and Kennedy, covering how this all played out and not only changed the way the Vietnam Conflict unfolded, but that it was the beginning of the change of an entire society. It is my opinion, based on years of research, that the murders of these two presidents were related. What are your thoughts?